My first two were also flash, the third one was a mash-up of several elements from a band logo, the fourth was basically a design by me which was improved upon by the artist. At this point, I had found someone whose artistic talent I really admire and who clearly knows what he's doing. The last two tattoos were totally designed by the artists (the previous one and a new-to-me artist). As you see, there's a clear progression there. What was the key to letting go and letting them do their thing was realizing that I liked (all or most of) their previous work, and that I would hate it if my micro-managing compromised the end result. IMO, a good artist will know what he/she is doing, and their artwork will very rarely benefit from overly strict requirements by the client. This is not to say that you shouldn't tell them exactly what you want, just be ready to listen to their suggestions and keep an open mind. Maybe don't bring a sketch with you ;). Also, I've noticed that it really helps with the "fit" on your body if you can be fairly flexible with the exact position and let them go as big as they deem necessary. The "bad" thing is that once you learn to just get along with it, it just gets easier and easier and the indecisions tend to disappear. Personally, this is a bad thing mainly for my bank account ;). I have lots of free space left, a ton of ideas (now that I don't need to have the finished tattoo perfectly planned out before approaching the artist), and a fairly flexible schedule so without any budget restraints I'd probably live in the tattoo studio... As it is, I've gotten "just" three 3-5 hour tattoos over the past six months...
And I think if one is immersed in tattoo culture, that might also seem the way to go. Because most of the people around me are somewhat anti-tattoo, I think I need to feel great resonance with the image and more certainty about it having a particular place on me. My first was flash and second was one I saw on the Internet. Designing one feels a bit difficult for that reason...
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